Textiles nature inspiration

Weaving: Pattern, Structure + Form in Nature

Students in this course research objects and specimens from the RISD Nature Lab for inspiration and guidance as they explore color, pattern, texture and form in a series of experimental samples leading to the development and completion of a larger woven fine art piece or inspiration for a design series. Beyond replication of surfaces and pattern, students are challenged to investigate natural processes such as growth, structure and form found in biological systems. These inquiries serve as conceptual catalysts for exploration of material and weave structure.

Students learn to set up and weave on a 4-harness handloom, and incorporate a variety of weave structures, including plain, twill, tapestry, pile and double layer, as well as manipulation techniques that can be done both on and off the loom to create two- and three-dimensional shape and form. Observation, research, experimentation and concept development are included in each student’s work process, and imagination, invention and personal expression are emphasized throughout. The course is open weavers of all levels. Note: The tuition provides access to the Textile department’s extensive yarn collection, which includes a range of fibers, textures, colors and materials. Students may need to purchase additional materials specific to individual projects.

Students exhibit their work at Open Studios held 4–6 pm on the final day of class.

Course #2775
Susan Sklarek

Schedule A
June 22–July 28, 2020
Mondays + Tuesdays
9 am–4 pm

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Susan Sklarek

Susan Sklarek has a BA in French and philosophy from UC Santa Barbara, conducted graduate work in textiles at California State University, Northridge and earned an MFA in sculpture from RISD. Her work includes the design of both apparel and interior fabrics for industrial production, woven illustrations for advertising and sculptural pieces for exhibition. She worked for many years as the in-house designer for Stanley Woolen Mills and did freelance projects for other companies. As a consultant for the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, her work involved the analysis and development for reproduction of Anni Albers’ work and was exhibited alongside Albers’ work in retrospective exhibitions in France, Italy, Germany and New York. It was subsequently produced by Maharam Fabrics. Sklarek teaches in the Textiles department at RISD and has led workshops at Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea; CEDIM Design Center in Monterey, Mexico; and HGA Convergence.